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Dreams PSX Interview with Alex Evans (Transcript)

Discussion in 'News' started by hyperdude95, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. hyperdude95

    hyperdude95 Dreamer Staff Member

    Hi all!

    As i promised, here is a transcript of my Dreams PSX interview with Alex Evans!

    Video of interview:

    Hyper: We are here with Kareem, one of the talented artists of Media Molecule and we are here with the one of the founding fathers of Media Molecule himself.

    Alex: As is Kareem!

    Hyper: As is Kareem! Alex and Kareem, yay! Back from LittleBigPlanet and they are awesome. We are doing one last livestream before PSX comes to a close, so i hope you guys enjoy this interview with Kareem and Alex where Kareem does his very talented sculpting. So lets go straight towards the interview since we have some time.

    Alex: You should introduce yourself!

    Hyper: Oh i am @hyperdude53 from dreambubble, a fansite created by my friends and I and we are here excited. I was really honored to be here at PSX with these guys it has been a surreal experience. Seeing all of this footage of Dreams with you guys, it has been quite surreal. Lets go straight to the questions now.  Some of these questions you may heard of before but im going to ask them again, same ones different people to get a different interpretation of what they think about it. John and Anton were kind enough to actually answer these questions and hopefully alex can too, so its going to be a really fun time.

    Alex: Basically when you ask us, you are going to get a different answer.

    Hyper: (laughs)

    Alex: The funny thing is that what we are showing you here in Dreams today, is that we are showing you alot of honest development where we are showing you what we have got. Sometimes we do not have the answers to some questions because we don't know them yet.

    Hyper: Yeah.

    Alex: We listen to feedback, we love the fact that dreambubble and fan-sites an other forums are so engaged, its fantastic.  

    Hyper: Yeah.

    Alex: If we do not have the answers today its because we don't know them or things change, so please forgive us it is a work in progress.

    Hyper: It is a fantastic work in progress our minds are out of our body looking at this, like we have all seen that and the people who were her streaming were like wow in the end, i asked for their impressions they were amazing. Like right now if you ship this game its already going to be game of the year, and you are still adding more to it, how big is this going to get!?

    (tech check is happening)

    Hyper: are you guys happy? Do the happy dance.

    (tech check is over)

    Hyper: Kareem is making something with a skull, with the ground an some grass, multiple skulls... That skull looks really detailed by the way. wow.

    Alex: Yeah this is a menLu sculpture, he decided to a full boy skeleton and we have a biped skeleton character that is really accurate.. Right, questions.

    Hyper: Questions!  Will facial animation expressions be possible in Dreams, like we have an imp right here when i talk the mouth talks and would that be same for our own characters as well?

    Alex: Yes absolutely, so i mean you can grab a the record tool and when you hit record anything you do will played back. Kareem is going to do that right now, you can create things, delete things, and move it around. He is going to duplicate the skull, rewind it and then plays.  So in terms of segmenting it up so the dual could move, we have tools for cutting so you can cut and sculpt up, but the best way to build a character it to build it outwards from the biped.The short answer to your question is yes.

    Hyper: Yay!

    Alex: Yeah i mean sometime you need to jump through some hoops depends on how it was made, like if it was made in pieces made or not. I know there was skull that was cut into made in pieces so you can make a mouth go 'bah bah bah bah bah'.

    Hyper: (laughs).

    Alex: So essentially yes.

    Hyper: Will we be allowed multiple audio files for different characters? Like can we make different sound effects for different voices of a character and have them play out?

    Alex: Absolutely. Um, sorry i actually can't hear you with my headphones on, im just going to take off.  

    Hyper: Oh, yeah no problem. We are going to improvise, we are going to telepathically talk to each other.

    Alex: Yeah telepathically.

    Hyper: (laughs)

    Alex: So yeah, you can record your own sounds and even import sounds from the website, and we have samples you can choose from whether its from us or playstation, you can bring them in and if you have a headset plugged into the PS4, you can use that to record sounds or voice chat when youre online so yes.

    Hyper: So we can do voice acting.logically.

    Alex: Yes. Exactly. And your imp will lip sync as you said, and you can use your gadgets as well to connect up and.. yes, short answer yes..

    Hyper: Yay! Will we have the options to export our videos in HD and not just export to YouTube or Shareplay on PS4?

    Alex: So currently and certainly for the beta, video is all through the share functionally on PS4. So um thats the current plan on the videos. It depends whether PS4 evolves overtime, that will be as subject to that. So in dreams, if you want to export a video, you do it through the share menu.

    Hyper: Will there be cloth simulation? For a flag or a cape, i know i tweeted you about that and you teased something about it, i don't know if you can talk about it yet or..

    Alex: Yeah, we are on the middle of working on that, so basically you are starting to see some of our work come to life, in the moment its still pretty static and made out of pieces. Its a little bit like LittleBigPlanet decorations, so if you are familiar with LittleBigPlanet, they decorations, they have costumes, a sort of fluency like you can attach things. Its kind of like the same thing in Dreams but its not finished yet. We are not showing it because its not done yet, but that is the plan. Plan is yes, but in the build no.

    Hyper: How diverse can sky boxes be can they not only be 'loose', but tight and realistic?

    Alex: Yes, so there is a whole bunch of parameters. Tight and realistic, we have not focused on so they are an underlying image so i think we have 256 images at the moment. We have plans where you paint onto them and manipulate the colors really easily so a few stokes you can change the look of it. You can change its texture, how much it looks and how much it boils, how much its smooth.

    Hyper: Fancy.

    Alex: There is a bunch of different things you can do. If you had a picture to import or a panoramic photo, we could do that in the future but for now there is no photo import mode but its possible, but not focused on. We are trying to focus on what you can do with your hands rather than chunky kind of like messing around with jpegs and stuff. Maybe we can work on that in the future, there is no technical barrier. But we want to focus on stuff you can do on PS4. Like what Kareem is doing right now, its way more fun than focusing on messing with jpegs and such.

    Hyper: Oh, definitely. Performance and fun, thats the whole thing Dreams is about. You can export you objects as well into i assume zip files like you told us before, i could be wrong and you  use it to put it for 3D printers, or anything that is friendly with that feature. We saw tons of 3D printed features like Frances, and Johnee's mech which was really cool. It was hand painted and it was amazing. And the fact that we can 3D print a skull, hill, whatever.. make a Indiana Jones type of set. I don't know its really amazing. Can you talk about how it plays out and that kind of stuff?

    Alex: Yeah the way it works at the moment, and the way its going to work in the beta, and as i say everything will evolve, but the way it works in the beta trial, every dream gets a web page and if the owner of that Dream gets has made it available for others to download or if you made the dream yourself, you can click a button on the website and it just gives you a zip file. Basically one click and you get the zip file which gives you many different things, right now it contains a polygonal model of everything that was made in your dream.  So if it was made in pieces, you get pieces of separate meshes. And there is also one that is all mashed together. So the really cool thing is that if you built something that is segmented or animatable like a character, you'll get the individual pieces separately and everything in one piece. Whether you want to print the whole thing as a whole or you want to print all the pieces and glue them back together again, we made it all flexible for you.

    Actually talking about pieces, what you can see is that Kareem has loaded in some kind of truck model that John Beech made and the cool thing is that you don't have to use stuff the way that it is originally intended. Right so you can just take something and he's making some type of junk world where is his just building up an environment. And if you were to take this dream and download the zip file that represents this Dream you will get like the pieces individually and then you get the pieces assembled.

    Hyper: It's really mind blowing and i love how you being like... the way that you are open source where 'ok well we still have this as a PS4 exclusive, but you are slowly giving out features where you can have it so you can expand more from just the PS4'.

    Alex: I really want Dreams to become a tool in everyone's arsenal. Whether you are musical, whether you're artistic, whether you are into making games, stories or movies, Dreams is like a new tool in your tool belt, and its all you need to do this stuff. I hope that Dreams is all you need, but at the same time that the world out there, the creative people, they have other outlets. They have 3D printing, they have Unity and Unreal, and Dreams is like a unique addition to the like of weapons of creativity and the modern world.

    Hyper:  I love that too, its like something i never saw a video game company do before. You guys are doing it and it makes you special and awesome. Will levels be held on PS4 or on a cloud based system?

    Alex: So right now, its on the cloud. And there is no reason you can save it on... like on LittleBigPlanet you have your moon. So the beta trial is going to be online connect currently, and there is some awesome things to that like if they beta crashes you will never lose any work because its always on the server. So basically when you boot, its on there. So everything Kareem is doing is being saved to the cloud so you do not need to save every second. The cloud is actually helpful there and then, yeah we can in the future have it save locally in your harddrive but for the beta trial, the cloud is the best place to save this stuff.

    Hyper: That's pretty cool. The clouuuddd (hand gesture) I have to do that.

    Alex. Yeah. I think that we will transfer our work to you guys too, part of the beta trial is about seeing you how you guys use this. I know us at Media Molecule are using it in a way, but its going to be amazing to see how you use it. It will evolve depending on you know, will look at whats going on and see how to respond to it.

    Hyper: Alright cool. How will the sound effect creation tools be like, can you guys talk about that yet?

    Alex: So i am not  going to bore you but rambling on and on. But we do have it in this build, it is a bit rough. So we are not going to show it right now. But there is a few audio coders who have been doing great job so i can kind of give you a feel. So Dreams is about performance, the idea of Dreams is that you preform with instruments. You  can bring in samples, we are going to supply thousands of samples of our own. Say like you want to make an explosion or a footstep. You can search for samples like search explosion and there it is. Place it down, remix it. But what is awesome about Dreams is that you can preform with that sound. Like there's a hard-line of a sound effect and there's music.  So you can take a sound of a footstep and perform it on a rhythm and be like "hmm that makes a good drum beat" and then gonna like "ok now im doing to do a kalimba sound, like a plucked kind of musical sound. And we mapped different modes to the buttons on the controller so you can like play melodies or you can remix other people's melodies. Everything in Dreams, everything you see in visual creation, we are applying the same idea. Like the movement of your hand or movement strokes to performance the sound. The details will be coming forthcoming shortly.

    Hyper: Wow. Exclusive info right here, i'm like wow. This is going to take a while to process in my head.  We can't wait for it to be ready, we can't wait. Speaking of Virtual Reality, a little birdie told me it may or may not be possible. Can you talk about that really quick?

    Alex: Yeah that is definitely possible.

    Hyper: Oh yay!

    Alex: This is the deal. Dreams is amazing in VR, we have to do it. I'm very excited. The thing with VR, is that you have to hit a good frame rate.  Unless you can hit a very high frame rate, you will feel ill moving your head around. We have not actually put a lot of time and effort because we are a small studio and we are putting a lot of time into non-VR. But there is a lot of people that play Dreams and initially will be in a non-VR world, but we absolutely have to do VR. And the biggest hassle like in every title is to hit the frame-rate. What is cool about Dreams is that we are changing the frame-rate behind the scenes. Simple scenes are easily hitting 60FPS, those would be pretty easy to do. So VR is like, i don't know what the date is for when we will have it but Dreams will be the best thing in VR ever.

    Hyper: VR is awesome. How about motion sickness? How would you tackle that beside frame-rate issue?

    Alex: We have not messed around with it much yet but the point i was making about motion sickness is that in VR you has to be super aware of what you are doing with the player and make sure they are not sick, its about making sure we designing it well. Just like any other game, we have to take it into account and i'm really excited because i think it will be really good.

    Hyper: Awesome. How many players can create in one session? Do you have a big canvas where everyone can have a big jam session or..

    Alex: At the moment there is no limit of the amount of players, but there is in some limit as too many will cause chaos. The limit is going to be around a balance between was internet connection you have.  The beta trial is going help find out what would be best. Its one thing is to test on an office network an its another to test on a broadband connection. Yeah, i don't know. But we have done like 4, 5, 6 player sessions but we may have to cap it if it gets too intense, i don't know.

    Hyper: It's about the experiment. We will see in the beta, how far it will go. Stress tests, those are awesome. Maybe on that test bed too that you showed us on stream a while ago, like those Dave heads.

    Alex: Yeah.

    Hyper: You said this game will have logic. Logic that is very friendly and stuff, i do not know how much you can talk about it or..

    Alex: Yeah, if you know the LittleBigPlanet logic, its that but evolved. And i mean, we have been replaying LittleBigPlanet 2 and 3 to remind us of the details and how we can improve. There is actually a cool system we are working on on top of that which is new and we did not have on LittleBigPlanet. Basically that anything you can do in the game like using the create tools or creating objects, stamping objects down and hit record just like you saw earlier in the stream and you can use that as "what happens when you do something". You can make a level, and you can say  "when the player crosses the bridge, do this." Then the system is going to ask "what do you want to happen?" Then you can hit record and say add three rocks to be created and i want the skull to fall over and i want the ground to lift up and just do it using the tools. If you know how to play Dreams, you will know how to record the effects how they happen. You can wire the cause of the effect and do the effect using the record mode. Its pretty cool for beginners because you do not have to worry about wiring up movers and gyros. They will be there for advance creators, but you can do it really quickly by doing it with the tools. Just record the performer and wire the performance to a gadget.

    Hyper: Awesome!

    Alex: You are not thinking about doing gadgets, but under the hood you its gadgets.

    Hyper: It's really cool. How about the story mode? I know you guys are going to make a scene to introduce the player, and the way you are secretly doing tutorials like mowing the lawn to subtract the data and such in the story mode. I was watching a Paris video and i saw that you mentioned the story about helping characters by going into their Dreams.

    Alex: Yeah, so right now we are focusing on the beta trial and the really cool thing about the beta is that you are not focusing about the story. So the story is going to come later. Basically we have not finished the story, so if we told you about the story we'd be making it up. I mean we have some ideas on the story, but our focus right now is the creators. Basically once the beta is winding up, the story is going to bring in everyone. If you are not into creating, you will be able to play our story. For the beta players, who are focused on playing the game, the focus is on what you guys make, what do you guys want to make. I can't answer the question directly yet because its not really made yet. If i tell you something now it will end up being changed in the end.

    Hyper: Its a surprise, a really big surprise in the end. That's the most important part.

    Alex: Yeah its a surprise for all of us. We have some sort of idea of what is going to be in it but its all a big surprise.

    Hyper. A big surprise yeah. Speaking of the beta, hopefully it comes out early next year. We can't to see what you guys have in store for us, its going to be a ton of fun, i don't know anything about the beta, just saying, but seeing Dreams is a lot of fun so the beta is going to be a lot of fun.

    Alex: Everything you see today, everything you checked out on the streams earlier, you'll be able to do in the beta and more. Hopefully we will have new features in the beta, everything you have seen will all be in the beta, polished, improved, bugs removed. We are going to put as much as we possibly can in the beta, its not just a single thing, its is an evolving kind of thing. The thing about making games is that "how much do you want to put out that is polished vs how much you guys want all the time". So the balance is going to be like we are going to give you stuff as soon and as fast as we can so you guys can experience it.

    Hyper: Yup a lot of people can not wait for that. People on Twitter were like where is the beta? And I'm like soon! I don't know but soon!

    Alex: It's really cool, so we start out with one thing and then we keep patching it, listening, watching, seeing what you guys create. I hope the beta trial will run like forever.

    Hyper: Forever and ever? (laugh)

    Alex:  It's just not one thing, like we will leave and forget about it, we will take care it proper.

    Hyper: Speaking of characters, there are so many characters you guys made the pancake one and the Last of Us dude, and everything was so fascinating. You can make four legged creatures right? Multiple legs and multiple hands. Do we have to use keep using the standard biped?

    Alex: Right so the biped is the most easy way to make characters because it saves us some limitation. Like in LittleBigPlanet there is 3 layers and you are like "Ahhahahah". And i feel like with Dreams we focus on the biped, and immediately maja for example made the coffee mug. Which is no legs as far as i can see. And Victor has made a dog, a puppy that you can run around as.  

    Hyper: That's pretty cool.

    Alex: Yeah, and he is doing that using the biped. Now interestingly you can also use the physics, the joints and things like that to create as many arms and legs as you like but you won't get this assistance the biped give you. The biped is alive, you get AI, you get a walk cycle, so you guys are going to find creative way to extend that tool, On the box it says biped, but i'm sure you can take it elsewhere. If you want to manual and wire up the legs with electronics and animation and gadgets and joints, you can do that too. The sky is the limit, but it depends on the effort you guys put in it. That is the thing with dreams, everything is possible even stuff that we can not even imagine you guys are probably going to do it and it is just a matter of question of what is easy and much you are doing to drill into. And the biped is really really easy to make characters with. And who knows, maybe we will have a special dog meat mode in the future.

    Hyper: We will see what will happen, we will have time to plan and time to experiment and that's what make Dreams really cool. Its the journey of doing this altogether, you guys at Media Molecule and us the community are working together to find out what Dreams is. Its going to be really cool.

    Alex: Right, right. The heart of Dreams is what we think it is but you guys are going to help us flesh out all the other parts for Dreams.

    Hyper: This is going to be the best beta ever in terms of compatibility and in terms of meaningness. (laughs) Speaking of logic stuff, some people were asking me is it possible to like program and stuff for the advance users? Or is it something that you will try to do one day.

    Alex: We experimented with that.

    Hyper: Ooh

    Alex: The E3 trailer, behind-the-scenes we built it using a prototype scripting language.  We do have some kind of scripting language but it didn't feel like it was dreamy so it's kind of in the back burner right now. Like we know how to do it, we could do it but its not our focus, we feel like our electronic and our gadgets are more game like and it matches the performance. It's difficult to integrate performance into programming but it is something we could do.  Don't hold your breath, but it is currently in the code but its squished off. We will have to see how it goes, if you guys are excited by it then we will see.

    Hyper: The future holds many surprise, we will see what will happen.

    Alex: Right, maybe we will re-prioritize it in the future maybe.

    Hyper: Is there any type of information you want to share with us at all? Or something awesome you want to show us? Like right here right now? Like anything mindblowing, this is the last stream for PSX, any teaser or surprise or anything? No pressure (laughs)

    Alex: We have been live streaming for days, and we have shown everything we have shown today. There is a feature you might have seen but didn't even notice is like the collection idea.  And right now on the bottom of the screen there are collections and Kareem's really been big on this. It's like Pinterest, its super cool. Some people might have taste in levels, may have taste is creations, and can create creations like pinterest boards of cool stuff that they can collect in a certain theme. It does not have to be themes, it can be characters, it can be levels, it can be colors, it can be paint brushes. And i had people ask me is like LittleBigPlanet's text search. The text search is there, but its waay more interesting to find content in Dreams whether you are creating or playing.  The social side of looking at people creating or what they created. I think thats going to be the real game changer with Dreams compared to LittleBigPlanet and youtubers.

    Hyper: (laughs) I just looked up and all i see is Kareem playing a chicken head.

    Alex: Yeah (laughs). Are there any more questions?

    Hyper: I'll just do one more (quickly looks for one). Can we moved objects in a pistoned like way like it isn't puppeteered but you use numbers and stuff?  Like the original routes from LittleBigPlanet.

    Alex: Yeah there are mover and there are Gadgets. Whats cool is that if you do an animation, there is grid mode and other assist modes, and you basically you can do the animation and scrub the animation. And you can do you it with the simple thing like moving with a piston and driving it with logic. But what is really cool is that we made levels where you can grab an object and move it along a part, and have a platform thats on rails and can drive the platform using the logics and you can actually have logics and pistons which move along your path, so its more powerful than LittleBigPlanet. Yes is the short answer.

    Hyper: That is bascially all the questions I have, thank you so much to you and Kareem for everything.

    Alex: Well i just have to say thank you to you and the whole community of dreambubble. (looks at screen at Kareem using duplicate tool). Yeah this tool that Kareem is using is the tool that makes the engine coders (me simon and anton) cry. With a single click you can make tentacles and duplicates, and replicate, imagine what you can do when you can replicate or duplicate anything. So Dreams is what you make it out to be .

    Hyper: This is like the game changer to the games industry, because you can make so much more stuff here really quickly than using other engines, like with polygons and all the jazz, since you are using point clouds like you mentioned before.

    Alex: Dreams is going to be a new creative tool in your tool box. It stands along with the other things, its faster, sketchier, performance-ier.  I don't think that's a word. But im happy we can bring all of that jamming with the aspect of game making. I'm so happy that you guys are into, and everyone is excited. It's so hard to explain it to people, but i think you guys get it.  So thank you. Its really hard to explain since its the most ambitious thing we have ever made. We had game developers come up to us and say, we didn't understand it because we did not realize how insane you are to do all of this stuff.  

    Hyper: (Laughs)

    Alex: Dreams is really our like superstar, what can we do, how insane can we go. I hope we succeed, we can only try. That's the spirit of Media Molecule, let us jump of a cliff and let us see what you guys do with it in your hands. The pay of for us at Media Molecule is when you guys get to use it.

    Hyper: #Dreamtogether

    Alex: yeah #Dreamtogether. (looks at sceen) And i have never seen this creational style, we are ending a stream on a brand new.. Kareem has developed a new way of creating.

    Hyper: Looks like a cell in the human body.

    Alex: Have you done anything like this before Kareem?

    Kareem: I'm finding something.

    Alex: Yeah, this is a new technique debuting here on this stream.

    Hyper: Ladies and Gentleman this is amazing.

    Alex: We have seen this before, but can you spin this donut, its a different style but its cool. Basically you can take the object in your hand and you can spin it.

    Hyper: Wow this is cool. A red blood cell. I don't know.

    Alex. Whoa cooool.

    Hyper: This is like an amusement park right here. Who needs to pay 5.75 admission to six flags right here, this is like a wild attraction.

    Alex: (laughs) This is a unique creation, you can't really re create it. Here in Dreams, PSX, thank you Danny for everything.

    Hyper: Oh no, thank you! We should like place something huge in the level, like scale it really big to finish it all off. Go crazy!

    Kareem: Let's go crazy with this one and see what we can do with it.

    Hyper: Yeah. Oh a big shout-out by the way to Anton, Maja, Jon, Alex, Siobhan, Jenny and Alex, Dave. You may not know Dave but he saved my life with this thing (the portable charger), its crazy. And to everyone who was on the stream, i was quietly sitting behind watching everybody doing their thing, Shuei was really excited about this.  Thank you so much, all the hard work here, Media Molecule, they are well spirited people and are really happy to come here and its amazing. You have no clue how passionate they are about Dreams. I was talking to Dave the gameplay programming guy and our conversation was a 30 minute interview, but was a mere conversation. Shout out the whole community and everyone, you guys really worked your butts off. A shout out to you and Kareem and guys they are doing a livestream at DoubleFine on Monday 10PM PST.

    Alex M: 10 am.

    Hyper: Ah, 10 AM. Thank you Alex. See we all help each other some way or form. (laughs)

    Alex: DoubleFine goodness at 10AM PST. And thank you everybody.

    Hyper: Thanks everyone, good bye! WOO HOO!

    (background clapping)


  2. Blual

    Blual Guest

    Thank you for transcripting all of this!
    hyperdude95 likes this.
  3. Finally got to reading this, thank you so much for taking the time to transcribe this! It makes an enjoyable read and one gets so much details out of Alex's answers, compared to the video.

    Also thanks for doing the interview, a lot of ground covered! :)
    hyperdude95 likes this.

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